Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Annals of Unfortunate Surnames

I was reading Shakespeare's "King John", and came across a rather strangely named character: Bigot. Immediately I wondered whether maybe bigotry was named after a Frenchman the way Chauvinism was!

Well, it's not. The French surname Bigot, while unfortunate, does not appear directly related to the term "bigot", which is thought to be related to either the Germanic "Bei Gott!" (by God) or "visigoth" (there is an attested case of "Bigoth" used for "Visigoth").

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